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Otis J. Baughn Papers 1916-1948, 1983


Overview of the Collection

Creator: Baughn, Otis J. (Otis James), 1877-1948
Title: Otis J. Baughn Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1916-1948, 1983
Quantity: 1 Box (0.5 Linear Feet)
Abstract:The Otis J. Baughn Papers consist primarily of one box of manuscript material dating from 1916 to 1948. Also included is a brief biography of Baughn written by his son in 1983. The collection is arranged in five series.
Identification: FM MSS 55
Language: Material in English
Repository: Arizona State University Library. Greater Arizona Collection
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: (480) 965-4932
Questions? Ask An Archivist!

Biographical Note

Otis James Baughn was born in Hanly, Kentucky on April 23, 1877. He attended high school in Lexington and earned his liberal arts degree from Kentucky University (later re-named Transylvania College) in 1903. After a brief residence in South Dakota, he returned to Kentucky and married Mary Holman Fairhurst on June 27, 1906. The couple had two children: Elizabeth and Alfred F. In June of 1909, Baughn was awarded a Bachelor of Law degree from Transylvania College of Law and relocated to Florence, Arizona with his family later that year. Upon admission to the Territory of Arizona Bar in January of 1910, he established a private law practice.

After Baughn moved to Arizona, he became interested in promoting reclamation projects and bringing irrigation to the desert. He was also instrumental in forming the town of Coolidge, located on the west side of the Southern Pacific Railroad, on land for which Baughn and others secured the railroad's right of way. From 1914 to 1922, Baughn served as a Superior Court judge in Pinal County. After completing his second term, he moved to Phoenix and opened a law office in 1923. A prominent Republican, Baughn was that party's nominee for Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court in 1916, 1922, and 1946. He was also a Republican candidate for the U.S. Congress in 1926 and sought the office of Arizona Attorney General in 1934. On February 11, 1948, Baughn and his wife died in an auto accident near Wittman, Arizona.

Scope and Content Note

The Otis J. Baughn Papers consist primarily of one box of manuscript material dating from 1916 to 1948. Also included is a brief biography of Baughn written by his son in 1983. The collection is arranged in five series.

Series III: San Carlos Project addresses issues related to this reclamation project and the building of the San Carlos Dam. Series IV: Speeches consists of the text of speeches that Baughn delivered to civic groups and other organizations. Series V: Other Papers documents Baughn's membership in the Masonic Lodge.


This collection consists of one box divided into five series:
Series I: Biographical
Series II: Correspondence
Series III: San Carlos Project
Series IV: Speeches on General Topics
Series V: Other Papers


Access Restrictions

To view this collection, make an appointment at least five business days prior to your visit by contacting Ask an Archivist or calling (480) 965-4932. Appointments in the Wurzburger Reading Room at Hayden Library (rm. 138) on the Tempe campus are available Monday through Friday. Check the ASU Library Hours page for current availability.


Arizona State University does not own the copyright to this collection. We recognize that it is incumbent upon the researcher to procure permission to publish information from this collection from the owner of the copyright.

Access Terms

Personal Name(s)
Baughn, Otis J. (Otis James), 1877-1948.

Corporate Name(s)
Republican Party (Ariz.).
San Carlos Project (Ariz.).

Geographic Name(s)
Arizona -- Politics and government -- To 1950.
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico) -- Water rights.

Courts -- Arizona.
Dams -- Arizona.
Freemasons -- Arizona.
Judges -- Arizona.
Lawyers -- Arizona.
Reclamation of land -- Arizona.
Water resources development -- Arizona.
Water rights -- Arizona.
Water-supply -- Arizona.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Alfred F. Baughn donated these papers to the Arizona Historical Foundation in 1975.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Otis J. Baughn Papers, FM MSS 55, Arizona State University Library.


The Arizona Historical Foundation transferred these materials to the Arizona Collection in 2012.

Container List

Series I: Biographical
11 Biographical Information, Undated
Series II: Correspondence
11 Correspondence, 1916-1931
Series III: San Carlos Project
11 San Carlos Association Committee, 1919-1921
12 Box Canyon Controversy, 1917
13 Speeches, 1918-1921
14 San Carlos Project and Colorado Compact, 1923
15 Documents and Newspaper Articles, 1917-1926
Series IV: Speeches on General Topics
11 Speeches, 1916-1928
12 Speeches, 1930-1938
13 Speeches, 1940-1943
14 Speeches, Undated
Series V: Other Papers
11 Appreciation Certificate and Newsclipping, 1923 (Housed in Baughn's business envelope)
12 Casa Grande Valley Historical Information, Undated
13 Masonic Lodge, 1922-1940
14 Miscellany, Undated
Indian Welfare League pamphlet, 1922
Senator Cameron's campaign card and newsclipping
San Carlos Day celebration broadside (flyer)
15 Newsclippings, 1916-1930